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SITE SELECTION
This step in the process is about more than just acquiring land. It involves a hard and comprehensive look at timing, location, net usable acreage, zoning, and cost. Understanding all the facilities and amenities needed to fulfill the educational specifications you have developed is key when walking into this phase. In this step, you'll learn about considering the four categories of site selection: programmatic/facility capacity, safety/environmental, economic, and location. Read the blog . . .

EDUCATIONAL SPECIFICATIONS
How did the band room end up next to the library? Thoughtful Ed Specs can help you avoid these types of problems. From the school planner's perspective, educational specifications are the link between the educational programs and the physical school facilities. Ed Specs are also referred to as the process of "programming a facility". Four key factors to consider are: educational program requirements, grade configurations, building organization, and site issues. Read the blog . . .

FACILITY MASTER PLAN
A comprehensive facility master plan can save millions of dollars. Too often, master plans provide short term relief at greater long term expense. Two of the more important concepts addressed in this chapter include addressing existing facility needs and looking at future capacity requirements. Not consistently executing a long-term plan often leads to much greater than necessary capital expenditures and inefficient operations. Read the blog . . .

MONITOR AND MANAGE
As you can imagine, this work never ends. Change happens. Continuous improvement allows for adjusting your plans and spaces to meet these ever-changing needs. Generally, your tasks are to monitor key external and internal factors affecting enrollment change and facility usage, and to manage internal changes and external relationships to the district's advantage. You'll learn about the things you should monitor and manage. Read the blog . . .

The 7 Steps

SITUATION AUDIT
A situation audit identifies your actual starting point. It clarifies real needs while eliminating biases and preconceptions. In this step, you'll learn how school planning involves a broad understanding of all the forces affecting enrollment over long periods of time. While contemplating the plethora of variables that affect sound, long-term capacity planning, you'll learn how to balance conflicting interests to achieve an optimum operation. Read the blog . . .

FUNDING
A solid funding plan is critical. A well-developed and executed facility master plan means asking for less money, less often. Nearly all capital outlay funding is from state and local taxes, with the federal share at less than 86 cents per 1,000 dollars of state and local spending. Districts must be mindful of the two major constraints on local funding, which include bonding regulations/limits, and voter tolerance. Read the blog . . . 

DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION
Navigating this step can be costly, but clear Ed Specs means less costly design, as well as buildings that will better serve students, staff, and the community. In this step, you'll learn about five project delivery methodologies that are commonly used to construct public facilities, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each. Read the blog . . .

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